Gulf of Tadjoura

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Gulf of Tadjoura
Gulf of Tadjoura area with description.png
Coordinates 11°42′N43°00′E / 11.7°N 43.0°E / 11.7; 43.0 Coordinates: 11°42′N43°00′E / 11.7°N 43.0°E / 11.7; 43.0
Native name
Basin  countriesFlag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti
Flag of Somaliland.svg  Somaliland
Max. length40 mi (64 km)
Max. width16 mi (26 km)
Surface area1,920 km2 (740 sq mi)
Average depth−1,078 m (−3,537 ft)
Salinity 3.6–3.7%
Max. temperature31 °C (88 °F)
Min. temperature26 °C (79 °F)
Islands Moucha, Maskali, Abou Maya, Ile Warramous
SettlementsFlag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti: Djibouti City, Tadjoura, Sagallo, Obock and Loyada
Flag of Somaliland.svg  Somaliland: Lawyacado

The Gulf of Tadjoura (Somali : Badda Tajuura; Arabic : خليج تدجورا) is a gulf or basin of the Indian Ocean in the Horn of Africa. It lies south of the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or the entrance to the Red Sea, at 11°42′N43°00′E / 11.7°N 43.0°E / 11.7; 43.0 . The gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive coral reefs, and abundant pearl oysters. Most of its coastline is the territory of Djibouti, except for a short stretch on the southern shore, which is part of the territory of Somaliland.


The Gulf other marine habitats include sea grass beds, salt pans and mangroves.


In August 1840, the conclusion of a treaty of friendship and commerce between the Sultan Mohammed bin Mohammed of Tadjoura and Commander Robert Moresby of the Indian Navy is tracking the sale of Moucha Island to Great Britain for ten sacks of rice. The sale will however follow any occupation. In 1887, Britain cedes sovereignty of the island to France at the same time it recognizes the French sphere of influence in the Gulf of Tadjoura, in exchange for the abandonment by France of any right in Zeila and the neighboring islands.


The area of the gulf is 347  km² (900 sq mi). The length (from the Sagallo to Obock) is 64 km (40 mi) and the width varies from 26 km (16 mi).The gulf is relatively shallow with the depth decreasing from the entrance to the gulf to the continent. The coast is mostly sloping; there are abundant sandy dunes, with occasional palm trees. The southern shores are smooth and shallow.

At the entrance of the Gulf is the group of small islands of Moucha and Maskali. At the bottom of the Gulf, separated only by a narrow neck of land, Ghoubbet-el-Kharab and Assal (54 km²). Geologically, formerly covered the Gulf to Lake Assal, which is now about 155 meters below sea level


The limits of the Gulf of Tadjoura as follows:

On the East – The western limit of the Gulf of Aden (A line joining Obock and Lawyacado).
On the West – The meridian of Ghoubbet-el-Kharab.


The Gulf of Tadjoura is home to many small islands. Geographically the biggest island in the Gulf of Tadjoura is Moucha Island. The Gulf of Tadjoura islands are often also historically significant, having been used in the past by colonial powers such as the French and the British in their trade or as acquisitions for their empires.


The wildlife of the Gulf of Tadjoura is diverse, and entirely unique due to the gulf's geographic distribution. The Gulf of Tadjoura has hosted some of the most magnificent marine fauna and flora, some of which are near extinction or at serious environmental risk. From corals, to dugongs, Gulf of Tadjoura is a diverse cradle for many species who depend on each other for survival.


The coastline along the Arta Region. The coastline along the Arta Region.png
The coastline along the Arta Region.

The Gulf of Tadjoura is far more densely populated on the Djiboutian shore. The most significant towns and cities along both the Djiboutian and Somali sides of the Gulf of Tadjoura




Arta Plage and the Gulf Of Tadjoura Photo of Gulf Of Tadjoura.png
Arta Plage and the Gulf Of Tadjoura

The Gulf of Tadjoura is one of the major tourist attractions for Djibouti, believed to be a perfect place for snorkelling with whale sharks, diving and underwater photography. There are two important towns on the gulf: Obock, where Afar and Somali sultans had sold settlement rights to the French, and Tadjoura, which houses seven important mosques and offers magnificent views from the sea.

Tadjoura is beautifully surrounded by the green Goda Mountains. The hills of this mountain are 1,700 metres (5,600 ft).[ clarification needed ] Due to coral reefs, the Gulf of Tadjoura is a heaven for divers and snorkelers. It attracts 40% of foreign tourists visiting Djibouti.


Passenger transport on the gulf includes a number of ferry lines which connect the following ports: Djibouti City, Tadjoura and Obock.

Related Research Articles

Djibouti is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Somaliland to the southeast, Eritrea and the Red Sea to the north and northeast, Ethiopia to the west and south, and the Gulf of Aden to the east.

Geography of Djibouti

Djibouti is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. To the east is its coastline on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Rainfall is sparse, and most of the territory has a semi-arid to arid environment. Lake Assal is a saline lake which lies 155 m (509 ft) below sea level, making it the lowest point on land in Africa and the third-lowest point on Earth after the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Djibouti has the fifth smallest population in Africa. Djibouti's major settlements include the capital Djibouti City, the port towns of Tadjoura and Obock, and the southern cities of Ali Sabieh and Dikhil. It is the forty-six country by area in Africa and 147st largest country in the world by land area, covering a total of 23,200 km2 (9,000 sq mi), of which 23,180 km2 (8,950 sq mi) is land and 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) is water.

Transport in Djibouti is overseen by the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport. Over the last years, the Government of Djibouti have significantly increased funding for rail and road construction to build an infrastructure. They include highways, airports and seaports, in addition to various forms of public and private vehicular, maritime and aerial transportation.

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Gulf of Aden Gulf between the Horn of Africa and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula

The Gulf of Aden also known as the Gulf of Berbera is a deepwater gulf between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the west, and the Guardafui Channel, Socotra (Yemen), and Somaliland to the south. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, and it connects with the Arabian Sea to the east. To the west, it narrows into the Gulf of Tadjoura in Djibouti.

Obock Town in Obock Region, Djibouti

Obock is a small port town in Djibouti. It is located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Tadjoura, where it opens out into the Gulf of Aden. The town is home to an airstrip and has ferries to Djibouti City, while mangroves lie nearby. The French form Obock derives from Arabic "Oboh", deformation of Oboki, a name given to the Wadi Dar'i in its middle part, upstream of its coastal delta.

French Somaliland Former French colony between 1883 and 1967 in the Horn of Africa

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Obock Region region of Djibouti

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Djibouti (city) city and capital of Djibouti

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Tadjoura Town in Djibouti

Tadjoura is one of the oldest towns in Djibouti and the capital of the Tadjourah Region. The town evolved into an early Islamic center with the arrival of Muslims shortly after the Hijra. An important port for many centuries, it was ruled by a succession of polities, including the Ifat Sultanate, Adal Sultanate, the Ottoman Empire, France until Djibouti's independence in 1977. Lying on the Gulf of Tadjoura, it is home to a population of around 45,000 inhabitants. It is the third largest city in the country after Djibouti City and Ali Sabieh.

Lake Assal (Djibouti)

Lake Assal is a crater lake in central-western Djibouti. It is located at the western end of Gulf of Tadjoura between Arta Region, and Tadjoura Region, touching Dikhil Region, at the top of the Great Rift Valley, some 120 km (75 mi) west of Djibouti city. Lake Assal is a saline lake that lies 155 m (509 ft) below sea level in the Afar Triangle, making it the lowest point on land in Africa and the third-lowest point on Earth after the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. No outflow occurs from the lake, and due to high evaporation, the salinity level of its waters is 10 times that of the sea, making it the third most saline body of water in the world behind Don Juan Pond and Gaet'ale Pond. Lake Assal is the world's largest salt reserve, which is exploited under four concessions awarded in 2002 at the southeast end of the lake; the major share of production is held by Société d’Exploitation du Lac and Société d’Exploitation du Salt Investment S.A de Djibouti.

Sagallo Place in Tadjoura Region, Djibouti

Sagallo was a short-lived Russian settlement established in 1889 on the Gulf of Tadjoura in French Somaliland. It was located some 149 kilometres west of Djibouti City.

Ras Siyyan

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Djiboutian Civil War

The Djiboutian Civil War was a conflict in Djibouti, lasting from 1991 to 1994 and resulting in thousands of fatalities. This uneven power sharing between the Issas and Afars led to the Civil War that ravaged the country for three years.

Moucha Island Coral island off the coast of Djibouti

Moucha Island is a small coral island off the coast of Djibouti. It is located at the center of the Gulf of Tadjoura. The island is part of the Djibouti Region; the island has a total population of about 20 inhabitants, which increases considerably during the summer.

Djibouti Country in the Horn of Africa

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Tourism in Djibouti

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Mabla Mountains

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Djiboutian Navy

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The Ghoubbet al-Kharab or Lake Ghoubbet is a Djiboutian cove separated from the Gulf of Tadjoura by a violent current. Ghoubbet al-Kharab is surrounded by mountains and cliffs 600 meters high, as well as by the Ardoukôba volcano which separates it from Lake Assal. It is very deep and hosts many fish and sharks that grow in the strong gulf currents, and is part of the junction between the African and Arabian continental plates. The cove is visited by divers - "The Crack" and reefs like Ras Eiro are popular locations - and scientists like Captain Cousteau visited the region in the 1980s, investigated the legend and disclosed that he saw the dark shape of a gigantic fish at great depth. He reportedly placed a dead camel in a shark cage and lowered it to the bottom of the cove. When he raised the cage it was crushed and the camel was gone.